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Prince George and Princess Charlotte make surprise visit to Prince Philip’s memorial service

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s oldest children⁠ — Prince George, 8, and Princess Charlotte, 6 ⁠— made a surprise appearance at their late great-grandfather Prince Philip’s memorial service on Tuesday.

The siblings arrived at Westminster Abbey with their parents shortly before the start of the service, and they were joined by their cousins Savannah and Isla Phillips, the children of Peter Phillips, and Mia Tindall, the daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall.

Kate and William’s youngest child Prince Louis, 3, was deemed too young to attend the service.

Since Prince Philip’s funeral last April was scaled down due to Covid-19 restrictions, the ceremony on Tuesday gave attendees from charities and organisations Prince Philip worked with the opportunity to pay tribute to him.

People were also surprised when Queen Elizabeth was escorted to the ceremony by her son Prince Andrew, who settled a sexual assault lawsuit with his accuser Virginia Giuffre six weeks ago.

Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and their husbands were also in attendance.

The service also marked the first public outing for William and Kate since they returned home from their eight-day royal tour of the Caribbean on Sunday.

However, the royal couple was forced to cancel one of the first stops on their Caribbean tour, after local villagers allegedly protested against their arrival.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had planned to visit a cocoa farm in the foothills of the Maya Mountains in Belize, but villagers in Indian Creek were photographed holding signs that said, “Prince William leave our land,” as they protested against the couple’s planned visit.

Julien Behal Photography

According to Reuters, Indian Creek locals are currently embroiled in a dispute with Flora and Fauna International (FFI), a conservation group which lists Prince William as a patron.

FFI has property near the village’s communal land, which has reportedly caused tensions over ownership rights.

The Government of Belize confirmed William and Kate wouldn’t be visiting the cocoa farm in a statement on March 19: “Indian Creek was one of several sites being considered.”

“Due to issues in the village, the Government of Belize activated its contingency planning and another venue has been selected to showcase Maya family entrepreneurship in the cacao industry.”

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